Now I'll share the other two shelves I put together Tuesday evening. In addition to my two PL shelves that I showed in my previous post, I have 2 shelves of traditional Montessori Sensorial materials. The two shelves I'm sharing now are adjacent to the PL shelves and Sensorial shelves. Throughout the year I rotate the materials on these shelves. However, I have out Wedgits for the entire year on these shelves as well increasingly difficult variations of bead-stringing. Other items that I place on these shelves may include (but are not limited to) puzzles, construction/building materials, magnet activities, 2+ person games, pegboards, and other manipulatives.
For our Open House and first few weeks of school, I have each of these shelves "filled". There are six activities per shelf. At the beginning of the year, my goal is to have many activities out that are easy for my youngest children to complete successfully. In the first few weeks they will be busy learning how to choose work, take it from the shelf to a table or the floor, complete the work and return it. I chose activities that they can complete without much adult help. This will build their independence and confidence and will allow me and my assistant teachers to spend the bulk of our time helping our new children learn the ground rules those first few weeks.
This screwdriver board is SUCH a popular work. It is available from Montessori Services. They have a few other variations of this that I would love to have as well.
I start the year with this classic pegboard with big chunky pegs. Even my youngest children can easily succeed with this and it gives them a great feeling of accomplishment to place every peg in a hole. As the year progresses, I change this out for pegboards with more holes and smaller pegs. This simple activity continues to hold their interest as the year goes on.
This is a horrible photo.........it is one of those magnetic puzzles that you use a "fishing pole" with to fish out the pieces. You can't tell, but it shows a farm with many types of vehicles driving past. This will appeal greatly to my little boys.
Here are the Wedgits. These are out all year. An awesome building material...........it is used daily all year long.
On the bottom shelf are two inset-type puzzles. You will notice that I'm putting out several farm-themed materials. That is because we will be taking a school field trip to a farm in September. There will be many farm-related activities out as the weeks go by.
Here is the shelf just to the right of the previous one.
These are farm animal lacing cards. I put out only 3 from a set of 6. The little metal pail holds the laces. These are really neat cards as the holes are numbered. I found these stashed in one of my cupboards. I didn't even have these out last year because I hadn't ever noticed them!!
At the beginning of the year I put out these big chunky wooden beads and the children LOVE making a long string. The string has a wooden bead attached to the end to prevent the beads from slipping of the end. Very important for reducing frustration.
This is a wooden building material with notched shapes that fit together in various configurations on a wooden base. I don't know where it's from.........it was here before me :0)
This tray has a little lidded container that I filled with colored plastic links.
I added a 4-space sorting tray so they could sort the links by color and shape. Then they can link them together into a long chain. I didn't put this out last year, so I'm anxious to see how they like it. I think it will be well-received.
This is a color matching game for up to 4 players. All the activities I've shown up until now are for one student at a time. I like to have a few materials out at all times that 2 or more children can do together. Many children enjoy playing with a friend. In a Montessori classroom with so many materials intended for single-use, having games available helps children form friendships. I cannot tell you how many times these types of activities helped some of my more reserved students begin to interact with others and feel that they belonged in the classroom. The second photo shows the box the game was originally in. I simply removed it from the box and placed the gameboards on a tray, the game pieces in a small red tub, and the die in a teeny tiny wooden bowl.
UGH! Another horrible photo. Sorry I didn't check these until I got home and uploaded them. This is another game (for 2 players). It is an apple matching game that I printed from Kidssoup. The tray holds 2 gameboards and a little basket with the cards.
This just shows how you would play...........each child gets a gameboard and the cards are placed facedown between. Children take turns turning over a card and placing it on the matching space until all spaces are filled. (This would be done on the floor on a rug OR could be done on a table. I just quickly snapped a photo of it on the floor.)